Dear Dr. Larry is a regular column. Faculty and students can submit questions to Dr. Larry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Larry will answer each month with leading-edge, witty, insightful responses.
Dear Dr. Larry,
My course is jam-packed. I have so many things I want to talk about with my students, but I’m finding it difficult to fit everything into the 16-week semester. How can I get more content into the term?
Trying to pack it all in
We have such great courses and we want to offer so much to our students that it’s hard to decide what our “need to know” content is versus our “nice to know” content. I’m always looking for new ways to maximize every minute of time with my students.
One thing I do now is record my first day content and post that for students to watch outside of class. I’m no longer wasting valuable class time reviewing the syllabus, assignments, expectations, etc. About a week before the semester begins, I open my syllabus, and then using either Jing or Panopto, I record myself going through the document. I post it in Blackboard and email a link to the recording to all of my students to review BEFORE the semester starts. On the first day of class I dive right into the course content. I’ve picked up an entire extra class session this way.
I even include a short, 10-question quiz (also in Blackboard) to make sure students watch the video and understand the course expectations. Now when a student says he didn’t know there was a group project in the course, I can bring up the Blackboard quiz and say, “Well, you indicated you have read the assignments section of the syllabus and understood what is expected of you.” That doesn’t happen often, but I LIKE having the documentation if I need it, and I LOVE having the extra class session.
Below are some links to examples and resources to help you do this. If you need more assistance, call those nice people in eLearning. They are happy to help.
Best wishes for better projects, happy students, and more time in class!